the modern desk/console in 2021...

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GeorgeToledo

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Many modern interface and software setups can deliver ~1ms or less to output, which is so low latency that polarity flip still works in a singer’s cans monitoring post d/a.

So…the point about adjusting monitor mixes with a mouse and it sucking may be an arguable viewpoint, but it is maybe still relevant that monitoring off of the virtual repro head is reasonable for many cases. There is little reason the DAW output can’t go to a console at that point and you deal with the monitor mixes post d/a with hardware.

It may not be the ultimate, but it does work fine, and will only come to work better as computers do these low latency settings with even greater ease. There is definitely an argument (or a few) for easily being able to monitor pre or post DAW though, in a perfect world.
 
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Brian Roth

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I spent decades recording with analog desks and 2" multitracks with essentially 0.000 mS latency so I'm used to hearing my own voice via headcans with polarity flips. Every digital system I've encountered....no matter how low the latency claims are....sound funny to me with headcans regardless of polarity flips. Maybe I'm very sensitive to latency, or maybe I'm just crazy.

NOW back to the original concept of this thread! <g>

One thing I liked using the Neve Capricorn (yes, digital desk) was the ability to set up two operational layers, one for "send to tracks" and the other for monitor mix. Touch of one button, and the control surface could move back and forth. Motors move the faders for each 'page", EQ and send level controls would also follow on the control surface. Essentially a perfect blend of inline and split analog desks.

Dunno how to do that with a purely analog desk, tho....

Bri
 

GeorgeToledo

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Well, you shouldn’t *have* to flip polarity for a singer with cans on if everything is properly wired. With inverted polarity a singer should notice a decreased low end response when coupled with their own voice, with a cardioid…it is generally *bad* to have going on. (An omni won’t exhibit that low end cancellation though.)

My point was that with current low latency times to output under 1ms, that the effect is just as expected when flipping polarity even though it has had ad/da. It makes it reasonable to just use daw output for monitoring because there isn’t an audible comb filtering effect.

(Sure, if you start getting to higher latencies the effect is obviously going to be noticeable.)

I argue the point is fairly on topic in analyzing the potential needs of a modern studio and weighing out price point vs features, when thinking out a “modern desk/console in 2021”.
 

calaverasgrande

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Since I went back to analog desks I rediscovered 'cue mix'.
When all in the box, my solution was often that whomever is overdubbing just listens to the mix in progress.
It's funny that it makes a difference.
Speaking of making a difference, the latency of most ADDA shouldn't be more than the equivalent one encounters when performing. The distance sound travels in 4ms is about 5 feet. So not dissimilar from the distance one finds oneself from the backline. Of course when you get above 10ms it starts to be very noticeable.
Perhaps there is some other factor such as group delay to explain why some find it awkward monitoring through converters?
Or perhaps some folks dial up the latency when loading on plug-ins. Which may affect playback when overdubbing?

One of my pet peeves about my last couple of mixers is the fader flip/inline buttons.
While it may be helpful to do this on a per channel basis sometimes.
99% of the time I am changing ALL the channels to feed from the DAW instead of from mic pres/line amps.
Not sure why more mixers don't have both individual and 'all the damn channels' flip buttons.
Though I guess that would require relays or TTL to achieve. Which of course increases complexity and cost.
 

groselicain

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... perhaps some folks dial up the latency when loading on plug-ins. Which may affect playback when overdubbing?

One of my pet peeves about my last couple of mixers is the fader flip/inline buttons.
While it may be helpful to do this on a per channel basis sometimes.
99% of the time I am changing ALL the channels to feed from the DAW instead of from mic pres/line amps.
Not sure why more mixers don't have both individual and 'all the damn channels' flip buttons.
Though I guess that would require relays or TTL to achieve. Which of course increases complexity and cost.
You hit the nail on the head about overdubbing. That’s my issue with DAW monitoring. As much as I would love to have everything in the racks, there are some pieces I still haven’t purchased that require plugins—and I try to work quickly on tracking days so I don’t love taking the time to render or freeze tracks before we go to overdubs if I’m limited to, say, a day of doing all the tracking. So once I approach 10ms of delay, I’m not comfortable with DAW monitoring.

And to your other point, I’m glad that offerings from most top brands offer a flip at the center section, but it’s definitely a little disappointing when I encounter a console without it.
 

Sonic

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What is really needed in a desk in 2021... I may have even rambled on about this already who knows.

but I am having a day dream on building a desk again, I have enough drawings, sketches and other things to start making it into something and maybe into a diy project for those that want to go down that road.
Hello! Let me also insert my five kopecks.
Since 2019, I have been implementing my project in the construction of a studio console. For maximum simplicity, I do not use any digital technologies, keys on FETs, TTL and relays. But without compromising the functionality and sound quality. So far, I am building three modules: a master section, a section of 12 subgroups and a section of 12 input channels.
Master: 3 stereo monitor lines+ 1 mono monitor line, 2 headphone outputs, 10 aux lines. Next, there will be blocks for expanding the functionality.
Input channels: separate microphone and linear preamps, adjustable edged LPF and HPF, 4-band 100% parametric equalizer (LF and HF - shelf\bell), 10 aux sends (pre \ post fader), sends to 24 subgroups (now I'm building the first 12 subgroups), sends to master (L\R) and mono (C).
Subgroups: receive a signal via the internal bus from the input channels, receive an external signal from the FX section (they can work as linear input channels), from FX sends to 8 aux (pre \ post fader) and master, from internal buses sends to 8 aux (pre \ post fader) and master. Each subgroup has the same equalizer as the input channels, which is switched between the FX and the internal bus. There are INSERTs on the input channels, subgroups, auxes, and L\R master.

P.S. I apologize for possible mistakes in English - I use an online translator.
I apologize for the quality of the images - I took pictures on a mobile phone with not very good lighting last year.
 

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GeorgeToledo

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abbey - It won’t exhibit that, because the omni pattern is picking up from all sides.

In cardioid the low end from the mic will cancel against the low end from bone conductivity in your head when polarity is flipped.

In omni, the low end from front and back of capsules has already been electronically summed in a way that doesn’t have that same clear cut polarity relationship against the lows you hear when singing.

Stephen Peus of Neumann and other Neumann people would be quick to point this set of facts out whenever people would raise various complaints about the sound of their voice in headphones, as a quick troubleshoot.

Low end cancellation with singing in headphones has indeed followed this pattern every time I have checked (monitoring after d/a with perceivable latency excluded).
 

abbey road d enfer

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abbey - It won’t exhibit that, because the omni pattern is picking up from all sides.
Cancellation happens, whether the pattern is cardioid, omni or figure-8.
Cancellation is the result of antagonistic phase relationship between the purely acoustical/mechanical path and the electro/acoustical path. It mayvary according to the microphone pattern, just as it may vary with the physiology of te larynx, bones and internla ear, but it nevertheless happens.
A wave travelling two distinct pathes produces interference, period.
Stephen Peus of Neumann and other Neumann people would be quick to point this set of facts out whenever people would raise various complaints about the sound of their voice in headphones, as a quick troubleshoot.
No ned for namedropping. The phenomenon is well known.
 

GeorgeToledo

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Then why are you asking me?

I think you are confused. You asked a question, I responded with the logic to the point of the initial time I discovered this. That isn’t name dropping, that is a polite response.

And *I* am confused why you wrap up your response with agreement that the phenomena is well known. Then why are you asking me?

If you have tested this then you already know that if a mic is in omni this will not be clear cut perception wise. Some people will classically report flipping to omni as a half solution because cardioid sounds “weird” in the cans, to then discover polarity is flipped in their setup somewhere.

My post about this was in direct relationship to the console topic and considering needed feature set. I feel you have now dragged this off topic and into side discussion. (I will add I am thankful for a great deal of info I have gleaned from your posts here).

Probably better to PM if you need further clarification.
 
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GeorgeToledo

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Why do you think low end response changes on a U87 in omni. What do you think is the cause of that versus cardioid mode. Do you think this will then cause low end change in omni with polarity flip to be more or less obvious in headphones to a singer hearing their own voice back as they perform.

These points aren’t really questions, because I think this has taken the thread off track. Let’s call them “rhetorical”. I asked you (who are just an anonymous poster on the internet, to me), to contact me via PM if you had further points to raise. You have now ignored this *after* your attempt at the “name dropping” jab. If it was name dropping, well, Peus has weight with me and I have found his point (reiterated more than once by Neumann representatives on the old Neumann forum) about that to be valid. Anonymous internet guy…well, I will consider your point in the future. I am sure no one reading the thread cares about any of this at this point.

The fact this is all contrary to your experience is interesting and definitely something I will make note of.

I hope you have a better day!
 
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abbey road d enfer

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Why do you think low end response changes on a U87 in omni. What do you think is the cause of that versus cardioid mode.
The response of a cardioid mic exhibits an inherent 1st-order high-pass filtering, but this doesn't change the phase significantly, at least not to the point of changing a negative interference in a positive one. Cancellation will appear in all pattern modes.
Do you think this will then cause low end change in omni with polarity flip to be more or less obvious in headphones to a singer hearing their own voice back as they perform.
No.
I asked you (who are just an anonymous poster on the internet, to me), to contact me via PM if you had further points to raise.
As a moderator, my duty is to make sure the content of this group is as accurate as possible; many members do not have the technical knowledge to judge if an assertion is true or not. Exchanging via PM would be contrary to this notion. Maybe we could start a separate thread.
 

GeorgeToledo

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The proximity effect requires cardioid, figure 8 and in between. Omni directional mics do not exhibit proximity effect, or in the case of (imperfect) dual membrane capsule derived omni, it is extremely reduced to essentially non existent.

When a mic is in cardioid (or hyper, or figure 8, etc), and polarity is inverted, there will typically be a lack of bass response apparent in the headphone of someone who is attempting to sing. The part of frequency response where proximity effect is boosted is what one will hear cancelling out. It makes the mic sound bass shy and highs strained to an untrained ear. Someone who knows what they are hearing will ask for polarity to be flipped.

However, in omni there is no such apparent proximity effect to cancel out against the singer’s head cavity resonance.

Would you concur that a mic must be directional to exhibit proximity effect? As a singer approaches a directional mic, and polarity is flipped in their headphones, this area will become shallow, yes? In an omni mic which exhibits no such proximity effect, this can not happen, correct?

Any more questions or concerns?

I’m sorry for neglecting to realize you are a moderator here. Interesting moderation style! In the future, if you have reason for concern about a point like this, you can feel more than free to PM me. I take no issue with editing and updating a post for clarity rather than take a thread far adrift because of some minor point.
 
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john12ax7

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Proximity effect will give a bass boost, so if there's cancellation it might be more dramatic. That doesn't mean a flatter bass in omni mode will not exhibit cancellation as well, it's just that the cardioid mode is more noticeable since you are starting from a higher level to begin with.

Edit : You would need to have signals in quadrature (90 degree difference) for the polarity flip to not have any effect.
 
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GeorgeToledo

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The forest is getting lost for the trees.

To attempt to push this back to being on topic and in relevant context, the larger point is this. Latency to output in modern recording systems is typically 1ms or under at lowest buffer settings. In this “monitor off the repro head” type of scenario, with this low latency, there is not appreciable comb filtering in the headphones for an artist. In fact there is so little that typical polarity flip phenomena is present in headphones for a singer.

The mention of omni not really exhibiting that sort of *low end loss* was intended to be in context of low end from proximity effect, I believe merely a parenthetical in my post. From directional patterns. *That* is the low end reduction a singer will be noticing with a directional pattern and inverted polarity in their headphones, as the inverted low end cancels against what they hear from their head cavity. Flipping an omni one way or the other is not going to have the diminishing of low end in the proximity region that only comes with directional pattern. Other noticeable effect? Sure but I was referring to this low end phenomena, apparently not clearly enough!

(It is worth noting for additional context that a common case of an LDC with two membranes to create an omni typically still exhibits directionality at higher frequencies and is not actual omni response, and average omni SDC still exhibit some high end directionality for that matter.)

In a scenario where it is effective to monitor post d/a, and there is no comb filtering from latency for performers as they monitor, there are some arguable advantages to monitoring post d/a much of the time to the point that monitoring input may be non essential. I am only suggesting this is a factor in weighing out what some people actually need for a console feature set as their bare minimum.
 
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abbey road d enfer

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The proximity effect requires cardioid, figure 8 and in between. Omni directional mics do not exhibit proximity effect, or in the case of (imperfect) dual membrane capsule derived omni, it is extremely reduced to essentially non existent.
How is this related to the existence of interference?
When a mic is in cardioid (or hyper, or figure 8, etc), and polarity is inverted, there will typically be a lack of bass response apparent in the headphone of someone who is attempting to sing.
But also with any mic. As long as there are an acoustical/mechanical path and an electroacoustic path, there is interference.
The part of frequency response where proximity effect is boosted is what one will hear cancelling out. It makes the mic sound bass shy and highs strained to an untrained ear. Someone who knows what they are hearing will ask for polarity to be flipped.
The proximity effect tends to linearize the LF response and make it close to the omni LF response, so the interference level is about the same.
However, in omni there is no such apparent proximity effect to cancel out against the singer’s head cavity resonance.
How would such a miracle happen?
Would you concur that a mic must be directional to exhibit proximity effect?
Yes, no doubt about it.
As a singer approaches a directional mic, and polarity is flipped in their headphones, this area will become shallow, yes?
Yes.
In an omni mic which exhibits no such proximity effect, this can not happen, correct?
The omni mic does not need procximity effect to deliver bass.
Any more questions or concerns?
My concern is that I don't want erroneous notions to be perpetuated on the site.
In the future, if you have reason for concern about a point like this, you can feel more than free to PM me.
I already expressed myself about PM. This is a subject for every interested member.
 
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abbey road d enfer

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The forest is getting lost for the trees.
As I said, we probably should open a new thread.
In this “monitor off the repro head” type of scenario, with this low latency, there is not appreciable comb filtering in the headphones for an artist.
Do you fully understand why?
In fact there is so little that typical polarity flip phenomena is present in headphones for a singer.
I don't understand this...
The mention of omni not really exhibiting that sort of *low end loss* was intended to be in context of low end from proximity effect, I believe merely a parenthetical in my post. From directional patterns. *That* is the low end reduction a singer will be noticing with a directional pattern and inverted polarity in their headphones, as the inverted low end cancels against what they hear from their head cavity.
I believe the interference process is rather well understood.
Flipping an omni one way or the other is not going to have the diminishing of low end in the proximity region that only comes with directional pattern.
You may repeat that a thousand times, it is nevertheless wrong.
The "diminishing of low end" happens noticeably when the level of both paths is similar. Since the on-axis level of a directional mic used in proximity is similar to that of a similar mic in omni, the canecllation/enhancement will be similar.
(It is worth noting for additional context that a common case of an LDC with two membranes to create an omni typically still exhibits directionality at higher frequencies and is not actual omni response, and average omni SDC still exhibit some high end directionality for that matter.)
High frequencies are less a concern, since the acoustical/mechanical path is is heavily low-passed.
 
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abbey road d enfer

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Edit : You would need to have signals in quadrature (90 degree difference) for the polarity flip to not have any effect.
That's what would happen if the mic was in the diffused field. That would mean being in a room that's at least 25ft in its smallest dimension, fully reverberant and the distance between the person and the mic more than 12ft.
I don't think anybody does the "microphone voice test" that way. :)
 

Brian Roth

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A new thread for the "headphone effect" is highly suggested from my viewpoint. I accidentally set of the veer in my post #62!

"Desks from the past" that I've used with some clever routing concepts were the MCI 636 and the Otari Concept One.

There....maybe we can get back on the path Pucho intended.....

Bri
 

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